Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“Newspapers’ Stand Against Tech Giants Won’t Save Them”

“But it could help them resolve their existential crisis.”

—Headline and subtitle in this article by Will Oremus at Slate; two excerpts:

     It’s astounding how slow most newspapers have been to realize that they need to fundamentally reinvent themselves for the internet age. The Times and Washington Post have realized it, but they’ve only just started to actually do it. And they’re naturally in the vanguard, since they have both more resources than smaller papers and are in a much better position to capitalize on the internet’s economies of scale.

and. . .

     One path is to embrace the profit motive, ditch huge swaths of their operations, and reorient themselves around the portions of their businesses that could realistically make money online. That might mean shamelessly covering and promoting the most crowd-pleasing stories. [emphasis added] It might mean pumping up their online video operations and winding down their print operations, as long as that’s where the money is. It might mean building platforms for user-generated content and helping local businesses develop native ads. What it probably won’t mean is robust, daily coverage of such institutions as city hall, the statehouse, and the local schools. But there could still be room for sharp commentary on local hot-button topics and perhaps even the occasional hard-hitting investigation. In short, they might have to become little, local BuzzFeeds.